Who's Who

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Harrow Sansom Choi, Operations Director

Harrow Sansom Choi (they/them) is a theatre administrator and co-host of the Thesis on Joan podcast that amplifies LBGTQ+ voices in the NY theatre scene. Their previous experience includes General Manager and Ensemble member of Honest Accomplice Theatre, a company creating devised work by women and trans people; Production Supervisor of the Theatre on Film and Tape Archive at the New York Public Library for the Performing Arts, Roundabout Theatre Company, and Epic Theatre Ensemble.

Liz Morgan, Director of Training & Pedagogy

Liz Morgan (she/her) has worked with TONYC since 2015. She is an award-winning theatre artist based in NYC best known for her poem "Why I was Late Today…" (Huffington Post). Liz studied theatre and dance abroad at the London Dramatic Academy, the Jana Sanskriti Centre for Theatre of the Oppressed in India and the Yeredon Center for Malian Arts. As a teaching artist in NYC, Liz has worked with Opening Act, The Other Side and People's Theatre Project. In 2022, she co-authored The Wildcard Workbook, a practical guide for devising forum theatre. Liz is an alum of the Columbia Law & Broadway Advocacy Coalition’s Theatre of Change program through which she developed Life Liberty & the Pursuit of Happily Ever After, a Cinderella-inspired one-act meant to inspire advocacy around immigrant rights. Liz was a member of the A.R.T./NY Body Autonomy Leadership Council and TCG’s 2021 Rising Leaders of Color cohort. She holds both a B.A. and M.F.A. from Brown University.

Max Raymond, Director of Communications

Max Raymond (he/him) is a proud trans man, multidisciplinary theatre artist, educator, consultant, and Southern transplant who has worked with theatre companies throughout North Carolina and New York. He is a spring 2024 NY4CA Artist Advocacy Resident, a 2022-23 Echoes Playwriting Fellow, a Literary Advisory Council member with The PlayGround Experiment, and a Co-Founding Artistic Director of Star Pocket Theatre Company. His administrative background includes work with 826DC, India's Sehgal Foundation, Triad Stage, Chautauqua Theater Company, The New York Neo-Futurists, and The Drama League. He has Mentored with the Sam & Devorah Foundation for Trans Youth, the Trans Empowerment Project, and the Massachusetts Transgender Political Coalition's Trans Leadership Academy, and he works as a freelance gender consultant and trans literacy trainer. www.maxraymond.org // [email protected]

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Philip Santos Schaffer, Development Director

Philip Santos Schaffer (they/them) is a theatre creator, producer, and administrator. Philip has produced, associate produced, and assistant produced Julie Atlas Muz and Mat Fraser’s Jack & The Beanstalk, the Between the Seas festival, the Living Theatre’s Burning the Living tour, and numerous shows with his own company, WalkUpArts. Philip has worked in development for small arts education and arts access organizations across New York City. Philip has a BFA in Directing from Hofstra University and an MFA in Dramaturgy from Columbia University. www.philipsantosschaffer.com / www.walkuparts.com  

Sulu LeoNimm, Executive Director 

Sulu LeoNimm (they/them) has worked with TONYC since 2011 as a Joker facilitating Forum Theatre Troupes, Joker Trainings, and workshops, and formerly as Program Director. They have a BA in Theatre Studies from Yale. Sulu has been a Brooklyn-based theater artist and physical theater performer since 2003, enthralled with making ensemble-devised work. They created and toured work as co-founder of Pack of Others, and performed with various ensembles in NYC, Denver and Seattle. They are a collaborator on Obvious Agency's 2024 project, Space Opera.

Tab Lopez, Program Coordinator

Tabatha R. Lopez (she/they) is a Brooklyn-born, Brooklyn/Queens raised, Newark, NJ resident with roots in the Spanish-speaking Caribbean. Tabatha's work is interdisciplinary, weaving together the arts, oral histories and other forms of research, and liberatory practices, focusing on culture, how it shapes who we are, what we do, and how our histories inform our reasons. Their mission is to collaborate on community-based projects that empower those confronting oppression through critically engaged methods, culturally responsive practices, and art forms that facilitate community-based solutions. Tabatha holds a B.A. in Puerto Rican and Latino Studies with minor studies in Philosophy of the Arts from CUNY Brooklyn College and recently completed the M.A. in Applied Theatre program at the CUNY School of Professional Studies&nbsp.

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Adama Diallo, Joker

Adama joined TONYC in her Junior year of high school after participating in one of the many acting troupes facilitated by the organization. She was drawn to the organization’s use of theatre to tackle heavy conversations dealing with the oppression and marginalization of those in her community, while also making them comfortable, interactive and fun. it’s for this reason that even through rigorous college work and full time jobs, Adama has always been engaged in TONYC’s work. Since beginning her journey with the organization 7 years ago, Adama has worked with various communities of all ages and backgrounds and she continues to be a fierce advocate for them all through TONYC and her own Youth Civic Engagement and advocacy programs.

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amani huell, Joker

amani is a multidisciplinary artist who creates socio-political portraits of identity, faith, and community through live performance, movement, poetry, and video. As a Theatre of the Oppressed practitioner, amani has facilitated work around consent and sexual assault as well as youth homelessness. They are passionate about uplifting the experiences of black and brown femmes and queer folk through theatre and storytelling. They are currently pursuing an M.F.A. in Contemporary Performance and Theater from The New School.

Ania Upstill, Joker

Ania Upstill (they/them) is a queer and non binary performer, director, theatre maker, teaching artist and clown. They are currently completing their Masters in Applied Theatre at CUNY and are a graduate of the Dell’Arte International School of Physical Theatre (Professional Training Program), Ania’s recent work celebrates LGBTQIA+ artists with a focus on gender diversity. Ania most recently co-created Too Much Hair, a music and theatre production, and they were a core creative on Proud Voices, an audio festival that played internationally in three major cities. They have toured to Palestine with Clowns Without Borders USA, and have taught clown internationally. Ania has also performed clown and drag acts at venues in New York City including House of Yes, The Duplex and The Tank. As a teaching artist they teach for Lincoln Center Theatre, People’s Theatre Project and the Association of Teaching Artists.

Elise Goldin, Joker

Elise Goldin (she/they) is a proud Midwesterner who has lived in Brooklyn for over a decade. Elise is a seasoned community organizer and has worked with workers and tenants to organize for dignity and material changes. They strongly believe that movements for justice must incorporate joy, art, and community in order to be sustainable and powerful. Elise holds a B.A. in Geography from Macalester College and an M.A. in Applied Theater from CUNY’s School of Professional Studies.

 

Gariyana Williams, Joker

Gariyana started working with Theatre of the Oppressed NYC as an Actor with the Crown Heights YO S.O.S. Troupe in October of 2016. Since then, she's gone from Actor to Joker-in-Training, and has been working with TONYC's Housing Works troupe, and her original troupe at YO S.O.S.

 

Julián Pimiento, Joker

Julián Pimiento (he/him) comes from a legacy of artists educators and travelers. Julián was born in beautiful Bucaramanga, Colombia, and nurtured his passion for immigrant and human rights growing up undocumented in white-centric working-class Greenpoint, Brooklyn. He explores the complexities and injustices of cultural and social assimilation through playwriting, acting, directing, and Theatre of the Oppressed Jokering. Julián holds a BA in Individual Studies (with a focus on Latino Studies and Theatre of the Oppressed) from Goddard College and a MA in Applied Theatre from The City University of New York.

 

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Marcela Artunduaga, Joker

Marcela is a Queens-based Theater Artist originally from Colombia. She holds a Bachelor's Degree in Dramatic Arts from Universidad del Valle. She has been involved in theater since 2010, first in Cali, her native town, and, recently, in New York City. Marcela has developed and implemented workshops with children and youth (pre-k, elementary, middle, and high school). Her work is founded on the belief in community-based theater, where participants are the center of the encounters. She strongly aims for a creative process that allows space for critical thinking, imagination, and movement. Marcela explores multiple intelligences for theater creation and aims for an ongoing reflection throughout the process. She is currently pursuing her MA in Applied Theater from CUNY SPS.

 

Katy Rubin, Founder & Former Executive Director

Katy Rubin is a joker, director, actor and circus artist. She has facilitated and directed Forum and Legislative Theater workshops and performances in partnership with various communities including homeless adults and youth; LGBT homeless teens; people living with HIV/AIDS; recent immigrants; and court-involved youth and adults. Katy trained with Augusto Boal at the Center for Theatre of the Oppressed—Rio de Janeiro, and later with Jana Sanskriti in India, Mind the Gap in Yorkshire and Cardboard Citizens in London. She has trained facilitators in Nicaragua, the Netherlands, Norway and New Orleans as well as NYC. She holds a BFA in Acting from the Boston University School of Theater. Photo credit: Will O'Hare

Adam Coy, Board Member

Adam Coy (he/him) is a Ukrainian-Tejano director, curator of vibes, and actor based in New York City, originally from San Antonio. He currently serves on The Fled’s leadership circle and is the Associate Artistic Director of The Egg & Spoon Theatre Collective. Roundabout Directors Group 4, 2021-2022 Playwrights Horizons Directing Fellow, SDC Foundation Assistant: Mojada (Chay Yew, The Public Theater).  Adam is a 2021-22 TCG Rising Leader of Color, a member of Theater Producers of Color: Producing 101 inaugural cohort, the 2018-19 SDC Foundation Observership Class, and an SDC Associate Member. As a performer Adam has developed work with San Diego Rep, JACK, Northern Stages, Pipeline, Latinx Playwrights Circle, Chautauqua Theatre Company and others. BFA in Acting, Syracuse University.

Elizabeth Bangura, Board, Deputy Treasurer

Elizabeth Bangura (she/they) is extremely devoted to Afrofuturism as well as reconciliation and transitional justice as approaches to digesting and moving through conflict. She holds a B.A. from Pace Universities’ Peace and Justice Studies program and minors in both Women and Gender Studies and Environmental Studies. They are currently the Restorative Justice Coordinator at Make the Road NY, and they are passionate about filling their free time with consistent learning, silly creativity, and loving big. 

Josh Van Kirk, Board Chair

Josh Van Kirk is an associate attorney at Hunton Andrews Kurth LLP in the Capital Markets practice. Prior to law school Josh worked in a variety of direct service and administrative roles in education including as a teacher in both the New York City and Baltimore City Public School systems, as a college access and success counselor at a non-profit organization in New York City and the executive director of a not-for-profit early education center in Vermont. Josh earned a JD, magna cum laude, from Brooklyn Law School in 2017, where he was a Sparer Public Interest Fellow, an MA in education from Johns Hopkins University in 2002 and a BA in English from the University of Vermont in 1999.

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Juncal Plazaola-Castaño, Board Secretary

Bio coming soon.

Pablo Hernandez Basulto, Board Member

Pablo Hernandez Basulto (he/him) is an emerging leader in the theater and social engagement field. Born and raised in Mexico, Pablo started his career creating socially engaged projects at the American Repertory Theater in Cambridge, MA, including developing audience engagement with Anna Deavere Smith; later Pablo worked with People’s Palace Projects and the Augusto Boal Institute in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, collaborating with With One Voice, an international network of choirs composed of people experiencing houselessness. Since then, he has invested extensive work in the evolution of Public Works at The Public Theater as the Manager of Community Impact and first Staff Board representative of the historic theater. He holds a BA in theater from Northeastern University.

 

Sam Brandt, Board Treasurer

Sam Brandt (they/them) is a transracial Korean adoptee; they are queer, non-binary, and disabled. They work as a professional technical writer, and they have a deep love for genre fiction in all its forms. A former theatre kid, they have loved theatre all their life and truly believe that it can connect to all people in a deep way. They are dedicated to advocacy for their communities and to continuing to do anti-capitalist, anti-racist work.